2013 Bees finally!
After a dismal overwintering, losing the last of my 3 colonies in early January; I drove to Koehnen's on Saturday for their first pickups of the year. It seemed like there were a lot more than last year's. Tied them down in the campershell and headed back to the bay area. I let them settle after the 140mi. drive and installed them just before dusk. I'll try and fill the 3rd hive with an outside swarm this year, my first one I'm trying if you don't include the 4 of my own that I collected over the past 2 seasons. I'm not giving my bees to ODFrank for free, !
After losing my most populated colony earlier and not having any bees around during the plum, orange and apple[gravenstein] bloom this year, I was saddened. Seeing the 2 new colonies starting out on drawn comb has lifted my spirits! The backyard with all the fruit trees just didn't seem the same without the foragers zipping in and out of the hives.
What I'm going to do differently this year, is to aggressively attempt to control the mites. My short observations of deformed-wing bees in very strong colonies and then a collapse to no bees is prompting to. This seems to be a pattern and it needs to be broken. There was not much I could do with the laying worker colony last summer, was there? After it swarmed several times, I assume the last remaining queen didn't mate correctly and I didn't notice it early enough. By the time I did, every frame with brood was drone, way too late it would seem to correct.
Good luck to all this season! May your bees stay healthy and surplus be plenty!
Re: 2013 Bees finally!
>I'm not giving my bees to ODFrank for free, !
In my old age those long drives to pickup distant bait swarm catches are too much for me. I am at this point just concentrating my trapping around the sites of Desmond, Charlie and Andrew, just a short drive on a Saturday night. Six so far, one into a hive on it's stand.